November 2019

AIAA Foundation Making an Impact: AIAA-Sponsored Series Launches Curiosity — And a Project to Space

A group of four young people, two males and two females, are smiling at the camera, wearing nametags and lanyards. One male is wearing a shirt with an Italian emblem. They appear to be indoors.
At the AIAA Arlington event, Michael Milkiewicz, Grace Schvodian, Caroline Wenks and Misha Somogyi teamed to form Team Hyperion, researching the viability of flatworms’ ability to combat radiation.  Credit: Christina Tyler Wenks

This year’s Higher Orbits Go For Launch! Apollo series sponsored by AIAA hosted more than 130 students who conceptualized and proposed research projects that compete for development and launch to the International Space Station.

“This renewed my passion for pursuing space as a career,” said Ankur Gatupa of Sterling, Virginia, who attended the Arlington event at the Lockheed Martin Space Experience Center in August—one of several events throughout the country.

Higher Orbits is an educational nonprofit organization that uses space to promote STEM, leadership, teamwork, and communication. Since 2016, more than 1,200 students have participated in 50 Go For Launch! events. Eight projects traveled to the International Space Station. Two more launch by the end of the year, and several more are being developed.

This year, Higher Orbits competitively selected the only five Americans attending the two-week Harry Messel International Science School at the University of Sydney in Australia.

“We are limited by what we are allowed to do in a classroom,” said Colorado high-school senior Zach Pickerel. “Higher Orbits opens mental doors. Without it, I would never have learned about microbiology at the level I wanted. I realize now what I am capable of.”

“I’ve always believed in giving back,” says AIAA Associate Fellow, former astronaut trainer and Higher Orbits founder Michelle Lucas remarked, “The only reason I can do what I do is because of those who support me professionally, who enable me to chase the passion into the nonprofit world.”

AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher said he hopes the AIAA Apollo Series Go For Launch! will encourage students to consider aerospace as a career.

“It’s a simple fact––we need more aerospace professionals, engineers of all disciplines, financial analysts, legal experts, business people, and many other backgrounds,” Dumbacher said. “Aerospace is an incredibly meaningful field and Higher Orbits gives students a glimpse of how much it has to offer.”  

For more information about AIAA’s educational activities, including making a donation, please contact Foundation Director Merrie Scott, merries@aiaa.org or visit aiaa.org/foundation. 


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Award Announcements 2019 Best Professional and Student Technical Papers

AIAA technical committees (TCs) and integration and outreach committees (IOCs) have selected the best professional and student technical papers presented at recent AIAA forums. With a standard award criteria and selection process from the respective committees, the following technical papers were selected as the “best,” and the authors were presented with a Certificate of Merit. The papers can be found online at the AIAA Aerospace Research Central (arc.aiaa.org).


2017 AIAA Spacecraft Structures Best Paper

“Flight Qualification Testing of a Meter-class CubeSat Deployable Boom” (AIAA 2017-0621) by JoAnna Fulton, University of Colorado Boulder; Sungeun Jeon, LoadPath LLC; and Thomas Murphey, Roccor LLC.

2018 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Best Papers

“An Intelligent Autonomous Power Controller for the NASA Human Deep Space Gateway” (AIAA 2018-4634) by Jeffrey Csank, James Soeder, Jeffrey Follo, Matthew Muscatello, Yu Hin Hau, and Marc Carbone, NASA Glenn Research Center.

“The Kilopower Reactor Using Stirling TechnologY (KRUSTY) Nuclear Ground Test Results and Lessons Learned” (AIAA 2018-4973) by Marc A. Gibson, James Sanzi, and Maxwell H. Briggs, NASA Glenn Research Center; David I. Poston and Patrick McClure, Los Alamos National Laboratory; and Thomas Godfroy, Vantage Partners, LLC.

2018 AIAA Aircraft Design Best Paper

“HALE Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Part I: Solar-Powered Single and Multiple-Boom Aircraft” (AIAA 2018-3028) by Dorian Colas, Nicholas H. Roberts, and Vishvas S. Suryakumar, Facebook, Inc.

2018 AIAA Air Transportation Systems/Aircraft Operations Best Papers

“Fairness Metric-Based Trajectory Negotiation for Merging Air Traffic Management” (AIAA 2018-3039) by Sang Gyun Park, Parikshit Dutta, and P. K. Menon, Optimal Synthesis Inc.

“Testing Enabling Technologies for Safe UAS Urban Operations” (AIAA 2018-3200) by Andrew Moore, Swee Balachandran, Steven D. Young, Evan T. Dill, Michael J. Logan, Louis J. Glaab, Cesar Munoz, and Maria Consiglio, NASA Langley Research Center.

2018 AIAA Astrodynamics Best Paper

“Applied Reachability Analysis for Spacecraft Rendezvous and Docking with a Tumbling Object” (AIAA 2018-2220) by Costantinos Zagaris and Marcello Romano, Naval Postgraduate School.

2018 AIAA Atmospheric and Space Environments Best Paper 

“Experimental Studies of Ice Crystal Accretion on an Axisymmetric Body at Engine-Realistic Conditions” (AIAA 2018-4223) by Alexander Bucknell, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK.

2018 AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Best Paper 

“Rapid Load Calculations Using an Efficient Unsteady Aerodynamic Solver” (AIAA 2018-3621) by Daniel Kharlamov, Jernej Drofelnik, Andrea Da Ronch, and Scott Walker, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

2018 AIAA/Colliers-HyperSizer Research Best Structures Paper

“Steering of Carbon Fiber/Thermoplastic Pre-preg Tapes Using Laser Assisted Tape Placement” (AIAA 2018-0478) by Gearoid Clancy, Daniel Peeters, Vincenzo Oliveri, Ronan O’Higgins, David Jones, and Paul Weaver, University of Limerick, Ireland.

2018 AIAA Electric Propulsion Best Paper

“In-Flight Verification and Validation of Colloid Microthruster Performance” (AIAA 2018-4643) by John Ziemer, Colleen Marrese-Reading, Curt Cutler, Charles Dunn, Andrew Romero-Wolf, Shahram Javinda, Thanh Le, Irena Li, and Phil Barela, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; Nathaniel Demmons and Vlad Hruby, Busek Company, Inc.; Jacob Slutsky, James Ira Thorpe, Peiman Maghami, Oscar Hsu, and James O’Donnell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

2018 AIAA Fluid Dynamics Best Paper

“Evaluation of Thermoacoustic-based Forcing for Control of Dynamic Stall” (AIAA 2018-3683) by Stuart I. Benton and Miguel R. Visbal, Air Force Research Laboratory, Wright-Patterson AFB.

2018 AIAA Gas Turbine Engine Best Paper

“Active Turbine Tip Clearance Control Trade Space Analysis of an Advanced Geared Turbofan Engine” (AIAA 2018-4822) by Jonathan L. Kratz and Jeffreys W. Chapman, NASA Glenn Research Center.

2018 AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Best Technical Paper

“Efficient Prioritization in Explicit Adaptive NMPC through Reachable-Space Search” (AIAA 2018-1847) by Vishnu Desaraju and Nathan Michael, Carnegie Mellon University.

2018 AIAA High Speed Air Breathing Propulsion Best Papers

“Supersonic Isolator Shock-Train Dynamics: Simple Physics-Based Model for Closed Loop Control of Shock Train Location” (AIAA 2018-1618) by Leon Vanstone, Joe Lingren, and Noel Clemens, University of Texas at Austin.

“Sustained Combustion Limits of a Central Dump Solid Fuel Ramjet Combustor at High Altitude Operational Conditions” (AIAA 2018-4449) by Ronald G. Veraar and Wolter Wieling, TNO Defence Security and Safety, Rijswijk, The Netherlands.

2018 AIAA History Best Paper

“Unlikely Partners: German-Soviet Aeronautical Cooperation, 1919-1933” (AIAA 2018-1612) by Richard Hallion, Florida Polytechnic University (retired).

2018 AIAA Hybrid Rockets Best Paper

“Investigation of Graphite Nozzle Erosion in Hybrid Rockets Using O2/C2H4” (AIAA 2018-4531) by Landon T. Kamps, Shota Hirai, Kazuhito Sakurai, and Tor Viscor, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan; Yuji Saito, Tokoku University, Sendai, Japan; Raymond Guan, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada; Hikaru Isochi and Naoto Adachi, Uematsu Electric Co., Akabira, Japan; Mitsunori Itoh, IHI Corporation, Yokohama, Japan; and Harunori Nagata, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan.

2018 AIAA Liquid Propulsion Best Paper

“Computational Analysis of Supercritical and Transcritical Flow in Cooling Channels with Rough Surface” (AIAA 2018-4465) by Hideyo Negishi, Yu Daimon, and Hideto Kawashima, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

2018 AIAA Meshing, Visualization and Computational Environments Best Paper

“Generation of Anisotropic Adaptive Meshes for the First AIAA Geometry and Mesh Generation Workshop” (AIAA 2018-0658) by Todd Michal, Joshua Krakos, and Dmitry Kamenetskiy, The Boeing Company.

2018 AIAA Modeling and Simulation Best Papers

“A Modeling, Simulation and Control Framework for Small Unmanned Multicopter Platforms in Urban Environments”” (AIAA 2018-1915) by Corey Ippolito and Kalmanje Krishnakumar, NASA Ames Research Center; Sebastian Hening and Shankar Sankararaman, Stinger Ghaffarian Technologies, Inc.

“Differential Adaptive Stress Testing of Airborne Collision Avoidance Systems” (AIAA 2018-1923) by Ritchie Lee and Ole Mengshoel, Carnegie Mellon University; Anshu Saksena, Ryan Gardner, Daniel Genin, and Jeffrey Brush, Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory; and Mykel Kochenderfer, Stanford University.

“Human-in-the-Loop Study on Angle-of-Attack Indicator Effectiveness for Transport Category Airplanes” (AIAA 2018-2938) by Angela Campbell, Somil Shah, and Mark Reisweber, Federal Aviation Administration; and Lisa R. Le Vie, NASA Langley Research Center.

2018 AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Best Paper 

“Efficient Multi-Resolution Approaches for Exploration of External Aerodynamic Shape and Topology”(AIAA 2018-3952) by Laurence Kedward, Alexandre Payot, Thomas Rendall, and C.B. Allen, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

2018 AIAA Nuclear and Future Flight Propulsion Best Paper

“Consideration of Low Enriched Uranium Space Reactors” (AIAA 2018-4673) by David L. Black, Westinghouse Electric Corporation (retired).

2018 AIAA Plasmadynamics and Lasers Best Paper

“Parallel Vortex Body Interaction Enabled by Active Flow Control” (AIAA 2018-3521) by Andre Weingaertner, Philipp Tewes, and Jesse C. Little, University of Arizona.

2018 AIAA Pressure Gain Combustion Best Paper

“Characterization of Detonation Wave Propagation in a Rotating Detonation Rocket Engine using Direct High-Speed Imaging” (AIAA 2018-4688) by John W. Bennewitz and Blaine R. Bigler, ERC, Inc.; William A. Hargus and Stephen A. Danczyk, Air Force Research Laboratory; and Richard D. Smith, GHKN Engineering, LLC.

2018 AIAA Propellants and Combustion Best Paper

“Complete Determination of the Velocity Gradient Tensor upstream of the Flame Front with High-Speed Tomo-PIV/Dual-Plane-PIV/OH-PLIF Measurements” (AIAA 2018-0153) by Tongxun Yi, Christopher A. Fugger, Naibo Jiang, Josef Felver, Mikhail N. Slipchenko, and Sukesh Roy, Spectral Energies, LLC; Travis Smith, Jamie Lim, Matthew Sirignano, Benjamin L. Emerson, and Tim C. Lieuwen, Georgia Institute of Technology; Benjamin R. Halls and James R. Gord, Air Force Research Laboratory.

2018 AIAA Sensor Systems and Information Fusion Best Paper

“Information Exchange Considerations for Effective Fusion among Heterogeneous Network Participants” (AIAA 2018-0710) by Thomas Frey Jr., and Kent Engebretson, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics; and Nelson Rasmussen, Lockheed Martin Rotary and Mission Systems.

2018 AIAA Solid Rockets Best Paper

“An Analytical Model for Acoustic Induced Heat Release Disturbances from Aluminum Combustion in Solid Rocket Motors” (AIAA 2018-4788) by Aurélien Genot CNES DLA, Paris, France; Stany Gallier ArianeGroup, Vert-le-Petit, France; and Thierry Schuller, Laboratoire EM2C, Toulouse, France.

2018 AIAA Thermophysics Best Papers

“Uncertainty Analysis of Coaxial Thermocouple Calorimeters used in Arc Jets” (AIAA 2018-3770) by David M. Driver, Daniel Philippidis, and Imelda Terrazas-Salinas, NASA Ames Research Center.

“Conjugate Analyses of Ablation in the HIPPO Nozzle”(AIAA 2018-3271) by Peter G. Cross, Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division; and Iain D. Boyd, University of Michigan.

2018 AIAA Space Architecture Best Paper

“Recommendations for Next Generation Crew Quarters” (ICES 2018-106) by Brandon W. Maryatt, NASA Johnson Space Center; Michael J. Van Wie, KBRwyle; and Toni A. Clark, Leidos, Inc.

2018 ASME/Boeing Best Paper

“Nonlinear Computational Aeroelasticity Using Structural Modal Coordinates” (AIAA 2018-1447) by Renator Medieros and Carlos Cesnik, University of Michigan; and Etienne Coetzee, Airbus Operations.

2018 ASME Propulsion Best Paper

“Additive Manufacturing of Liquid Rocket Engine Combustion Devices: A Summary of Process Developments and Hot-Fire Testing Results” (AIAA 2018-4625) by Paul Gradl, Sandy E. Greene, Christopher Protz, Brad Bullard, James Buzzell, Chance Garcia, Jessica Wood, and Kenneth Cooper, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center; James Hulka, Jacobs Technology, Inc.; and Robin Osborne, ERC Incorporated.

2019 AIAA Aerodynamic Measurement Technology Best Technical Paper

“Evaluation of Wavelet-Based Optical Flow Velocimetry from OH Scalar Fields in Reacting Turbulent Flows” (AIAA 2019-0270) by Bryan E. Schmidt and Jeffrey A. Sutton, Ohio State University; Colin A. Towery and Peter Hamlington, University of Colorado.

2019 AIAA Applied Aerodynamics Best Paper

“Multipoint Aerodynamic Shape Optimization for Subsonic and Supersonic Regimes” (AIAA 2019-0696) by Marco Mangano and Joaquim Martins, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

2019 AIAA Terrestrial Energy Systems Best Paper

“Impact of Alternative Fuel on Gas Turbine Noise, Vibration and Instability” (AIAA 2019-0240) by Charith J. Wijesinghe and Bhupendra Khandelwal, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, South Yorkshire, UK.


2018 AIAA Aerospace Power Systems Best Student Paper

“The SPACE Computer Code for Analyzing the International Space Station Electrical Power System: Past, Present, and Future” (AIAA 2018-4635) by Sara G. Miller, Brandon T. Klefman, Steven Korn, Terrian Nowden, Ann M. Delleur, and David McKissock, NASA Glenn Research Center.

2018 AIAA Atmospheric Flight Mechanics Student Paper Competition

“An Experimental Investigation of Tractor and Pusher Hexacopter performance” (AIAA 2018-2983) by Prashin Sharma and Ella Atkins, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

2018 AIAA Hybrid Rockets Best Student Paper

“Hypergolic Ignition and Relights of a Paraffin-based Hybrid Grain” (AIAA 2018-4661) by Alicia Benhidjeb-Carayon, Jason Gabl, and Timothee L. Pourpoint, Purdue University.

2018 Plasmadynamics and Lasers Best Student Paper

“Radar REMPI Diagnostic for Low Neutral Density Measurements of Xenon in Helium Buffer Gas: Experiments and Modeling” (AIAA 2018-3435) by Christopher A. Galea, Mikhail N. Shneider, and Arthur Dogariu, Princeton University; Tat Loon Chng, École Polytechnique; and Richard B. Miles, Texas A&M University.

2018 AIAA Solid Rockets Best Student Paper

“Overview of a Supersonic Probe for Solid Propellant Rocket CCP Collection” (AIAA 2018-4882) by Stefania Carlotti, Filippo Maggi, Riccardo Bisin, Stefano Dossi, and Luciano Galfetti, Politecnico di Milano, Italy; Dominik Saile and Ali Gülhan, German Aerospace Center, Germany; Christopher Groll and Tobias Langener, European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands.

2018 Space Architecture Best Student Paper

“MARSH: Multi-Mission Artificial-Gravity Reusable Space Habitat” (AIAA 2018-5100) by Dale Martin, Melissa Adams, Spencer Aman, Derek Bierly, Andrew Delmont, Caleb Fricke, Simon Hochmuth, Nicholas Levitsky, Neel Patel, Aseel Syed, Skylar Trythall, Peter Wight, and David L. Akin, University of Maryland.

2018 AIAA Thermophysics Best Student Paper

“Aerothermodynamic Modelling of Meteor Entry Flows in the Rarefied Regime” (AIAA 2018-4180) by Federico Bariselli, Vrije Universiteit Brussel; Stefano Boccelli and Aldo Frezzotti, Technical University of Milan; Thierry Magin, von Kármán Institute for Fluid Dynamics; and Annick Hubin, Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

2019 American Society of Composites Best Student Paper

“Effects of Fiber Surface Treatment and Nozzle Geometry in Structural Properties of Additively Manufactured Two-Phase Composites” (AIAA-2019-0407) by Easir Arafat Papon, University of Alabama.

2019 Harry H. and Lois H. Hilton Student Paper Award in Structures

“Structural Modelling of Compliance-Based Morphing Structures under Transverse Shear Loading” (AIAA-2019-0229) by Andres E. Rivero, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK.

2019 Jefferson Goblet Student Paper Award

“Modeling of Laminated Reinforced Composite with Carbon Nanotube Interlayers to Estimate Structural Damping in a Rotorcraft Blade” (AIAA-2019-1511) by Keerti Prakash, Pennsylvania State University.

2019 Lockheed Martin Student Paper Award in Structures

“A Three-Dimensional Constitutive Modeling for Shape Memory Alloys Considering Two-Way Shape Memory Effect and Transformation-Induced Plasticity” (AIAA-2019-1195) by Lei Xu, Texas A&M University.

2019 Southwest Research Institute Student Paper Award in Non-Deterministic Approaches

“Probabilistic Failure Analysis for ICME Using An Adjoint-based Lattice Particle Method” (AIAA-2019-0970) by Yi Gao, Arizona State University

Thank you to the technical committees who took the time to judge these papers and recognize the ongoing advancement of our aerospace community!

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Award Announcements Thalmeier Receives the 13th Freitag Award

A young man holding a framed certificate shakes hands with an older man in a suit, against a backdrop of lights.
L to R. Linda and Joe Frietag celebrate with Mr. Thalmeier. Credit: Freitag

By Joe Freitag, AIAA Associate Fellow

On 18 September, Jonas Thalmeier received the Joseph Frietag, Sr. Award. Thalmeier is a graduate of the Daimler-Benz Training School, which provides apprentice training for metal working and robotic technician professions. Many of them like Thalmeier engage in special projects during their training and go on to universities to get their bachelor of engineering degrees.

This year, Thalmeier, 21, stood out from the two dozen applicants because of his innovative ideas and the automotive mechatronics engineering computer programs he had written. His academic performance was excellent and he assisted fellow classmates when they needed academic help. In addition to his own project that required oversight from two mentor teachers, he participated “brilliantly” on a team project by constructing and soldering circuitry. He enjoys motor biking with friends and on his summer holidays he has been a supervisor in the children’s sports camp for the last five years.

While previous awardees pursued bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering, Thalmeier discovered he was quite good in the field of electronics and he was accepted by the University of Graz, Austria, to study of electrical engineering.

Following the award ceremony, Thalmeier, his family, members of the selection committee and some past award winners joined Joe Freitag and his wife Linda for dinner in Esslingen, Germany.

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Section News Utah Section Attends FanX 2019

A busy exhibition hall with people visiting various booths. One person in knight armor is talking to another dressed in a lab coat. Several displays and banners are visible in the background.
FanX attendees at the AIAA Utah Section booth. Credit: AIAA Utah Section

In early September, the AIAA Utah Section, the larger Utah Engineers Council, and Hill AFB STEM partnered to showcase STEM at FanX, Salt Lake City’s biannual Comic Convention, which draws more than 100,000 guests. The goal was to reach young people, educators, and parents in the local community and stimulate an interest in future STEM careers.

The volunteers contributed swag from Hill AFB STEM, displayed the A-10 simulator cockpit from the Hill Aerospace Museum as a photo-op, and exhibited an awesome interactive topographical sandbox that adjusted the projected map onto the sand as you played with it. The booth also had several FIRST robotics teams at multiple levels demonstrating their expertise to other kids their own age.

Multiple kids told volunteers that the STEM booth was their favorite event at the convention, which speaks highly of the volunteers and the great service they provided. It was a highly successful event, and the section looks forward to participating in this collaborative outreach effort again in the future!

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November 2019 AIAA Bulletin